When reflecting on my experiences studying abroad in Barcelona, there are many important lessons that I now cherish and carry with me. Here are 3 of the many lessons I learned from studying abroad:
- I learned how to be adaptable. Throughout my time abroad, there were times when things or expectations did not go as planned, and I had to adapt to the situation and figure out an alternative means of continuing on. Whether it be running late to a connecting flight, a missed bus/metro ride, or an unexpected pandemic result, I learned that you always have to make the best of your situation and figure out a way to get through it. Obstacles in life are inevitably going to arise when you least expect them. They might upset you or change your path, but it is how you respond to these challenges that help you learn and grow.
- I learned how to trust myself. Traveling on your own is something that can be very exciting, yet also worrisome when you find yourself in unexpected situations or new challenges. When you feel stuck, you have to learn how to rely on yourself to get to where you are going or need to be. While sometimes that can be very scary or nerve wracking, when you actually trust in yourself you are able to truly learn the importance of your independence and confidence. Throughout my time abroad, I came to realize that I am way more capable than what I initially gave myself credit for. Reminding myself that I have navigated train/metro stations and managed to get around a whole new country in another language has motivated me to face my challenges head first and continue to challenge myself to conquer my fears, doubts, and worries.
- I learned to cherish and feel every moment for what it’s worth. There are no amount of pictures or videos that could ever fully capture that feeling of being breathless and in awe when in the presence of such beauty. During my time abroad, there were countless times I felt like I was living in a dream. Moments like those were the ones where I reminded myself to take a step back and truly live in the experience – in all its laughter, happiness, and pure joy. These moments and experiences are the ones that taught me to soak up moments of happiness and cherish/appreciate the time I have with friends and family in a much greater way than I have ever before.
Returning back to my home state, it means so much for me to know that I have made it not only to the place that I have studied in my Spanish textbooks for so long, but also to a place that I would have never thought I would be able to visit if it was not for this specific study abroad program and the support of my family, friends, and scholarships. Barcelona was truly a dream and more, and I will forever carry the fond memories and many lessons that I have learned from my experience abroad with me as I go on forward to my next journey of life.